Paavo Airola - Let's Live - August 1977Index

Juice Fasting - Part One

Royal Road to Health And Long Life

THE MAIN CAUSES of disease and aging are to be found in biochemical suffocation, the systematic disorder that interferes with the normal processes of cell metabolism and cell regeneration. As the famous Canadian "stress doctor", Hans Selye, said, "Life, the biological chain that holds our parts together, is only as strong as the weakest vital link," 1 the cell.

You are as healthy and as young as your smallest links, the cells, are. Disease and aging begin when the normal process of cell regeneration and rebuilding slows down. This slowdown is caused by the accumulation of waste products in the tissues which interferes with the nourishment and oxygenation of cells.

Each cell of your body is a complete living entity with its own metabolism. It needs a constant supply of oxygen and, adequate nourishment in the form of all the known nutritive substances, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and trace elements. When nutritional deficiencies, sluggish metabolism, sedentary life, lack of fresh air and water, overeating and consequent poor digestion and assimilation of food cause our cells to be deprived of the nourishment they need, they start to degenerate and break down. The normal process of cell replacement and rebuilding slows down and your body starts to grow old. Its resistance to diseases will diminish and various ills will start to appear. This may happen at any age.

Only about half of all your cells are in the peak of development and working condition. One fourth are usually in the process of growth and the other fourth in the process of dying and replacement. It is of vital importance that the dying cells are decomposed and eliminated from the system as efficiently as possible. Quick and effective elimination of dead cells stimulates the building and growth of new cells.

Here's where juice fasting comes in as the most effective way to restore health and rejuvenate the body. During the juice fast, the process of elimination of the dead and dying cells is speeded up and the new-building of cells is accelerated and stimulated. At the same time, the toxic waste products that interfere with the nourishment of the cells are effectively eliminated and the normal metabolic rate and cell oxygenation are restored. 2

Why Fasting Is So Effective

Here's why:
  1. During a prolonged fast (after the first three days), your body will live on its own substance. When it is deprived of needed nutrition, particularly of proteins and fats, it will burn and digest its own tissues by the process of autolysis, or self-digestion. But your body will not do it indiscriminately! In its wisdom and here lies the secret of the extraordinary effectiveness of fasting as curative and rejuvenative therapy! - your body will first decompose and burn those cells and tissues which are diseased, damaged, aged, or dead. In fasting, your body feeds itself on the most impure and inferior materials, such as dead cells and morbid accumulations, tumors, abscesses, fat deposits, etc. Dr. Otto Buchinger, M.D., perhaps the greatest fasting authority in the world (and, I am proud to say, one of my fasting teachers), calls fasting - very pertinently - a "refuse disposal", a "burning of rubbish." 3 The essential tissues and vital organs, the glands, the nervous system, and the brain are not damaged or digested in fasting.

  2. During fasting, while the old cells and diseased tissues are decomposed and burned, the building of new, healthy cells is speeded up. This may seem unbelievable, since no nourishment, or only a limited amount of nourishment during a juice fast, is supplied. But this is nevertheless a physiological fact. During the famous Swedish fast marches, when first 11 and then 19 men walked from Gothenburg to Stockholm, a distance of over 325 miles, in 10 days while on a total fast, it was observed that the protein level of the blood (serum albumin reading) of the fasting people remained constant and normal (blood sugar levels also remained normal!) throughout the fasting period, in spite of the fact that no protein was consumed. The reason for this is that proteins in your body are in the so-called dynamic state, being constantly decomposed and resynthesized and reused for various needs Within the body. When old or diseased cells are decomposed, the amino acids are not wasted, but are released and used again in the process of new-building of young, vital cells.

  3. During a juice fast, the eliminative and cleansing capacity of the eliminative organs - lungs, liver, kidneys, and the skin - is greatly increased, and masses of accumulated metabolic wastes and toxins are quickly expelled. For example, during fasting, the concentration of toxins in the urine can be ten times higher than normal. 5 This is due to the fact that the alimentary canal, liver, and kidneys are relieved from the usual burden of digesting foods and eliminating the resultant wastes, and can concentrate on the cleansing of old accumulated wastes and toxins, such as uric acid and purines from the tissues. This eliminative process is evidenced by the following typical symptoms of fasting: offensive breath, dark urine, continuous and generous discharge from the colon with enema, skin eruptions, excessive perspiration, and catarrhal elimination of mucus.

  4. Fasting affords a physiological rest to the digestive, assimilative and protective organs. After fasting, the digestion of food and the utilization of nutrients is greatly improved, and sluggishness and further waste retention are prevented.

  5. Finally, the fast exerts a normalizing, stabilizing and rejuvenative effect on all the vital physiological, nervous and mental functions. The nervous system is rejuvenated; mental powers are improved; glandular chemistry and hormonal secretions are stimulated and increased; the biochemical and mineral balance of the tissue is normalized. 6
It is easy to see from the above why fasting is such an effective health-restoring and rejuvenative measure. As Dr. W. Zabel, famous German biological medical practitioner, said, "fasting is man's oldest and best healing method." And Dr. Adolph Mayer said that "fasting is the most effective means of correcting any disease." 7

Medical Science Rediscovers Fasting

Fasting is the oldest therapeutic method known to man. Even before the advent of the healing arts, man instinctively stopped eating when feeling ill and abstained from food until his health was restored. Perhaps he learned this from animals, which always fast when not feeling well.

Throughout medical history, fasting has been regarded as one of the most dependable curative methods. Hippocrates, Galen, Paracelsus, and many other "greats" of medicine prescribed fasting.

But with the advent of modern, drug-oriented medicine, fasting has fallen into disregard in the eyes of the orthodox practitioners. All kinds of reducing diets - yes; but the total abstinence from food - the best form of reducing as well as healing - is seldom tried.

Happily, things are beginning to change. Many scientific studies are now being made around the world, particularly in Europe, to determine the prophylactic, therapeutic and rejuvenative effects of fasting.

The Karolinska institute in Stockholm, a world-famous medical research institution, has made clinical studies of fasting up to 55 days under Drs. P. Reizenstein and I. Kellberg. Studies demonstrated that fasting is not only a perfectly safe measure, but that it also has a definite beneficial healing effect.

The famous Swedish fast marches, led by Dr. Lennart Edren, proved to the world the great potential of fasting as well as its safety. Although the fasting participants were under an extremely severe stress walking 33 miles a day for 10 days, their health condition only improved and "they felt stronger and had more vigor and vitality after the fast than before it," as expressed by Dr. Karl-Otto Aly, M.D., one of the participants of the fast march. _

In Germany, fasting is now-used in hundreds of biological clinics operated by medical doctors. One doctor, Otto Buchinger, Jr., has supervised over 100,000 successful fasts. In German and Swedish clinics fasting is now routinely used to treat virtually every disease - rheumatic conditions, digestive disorders, skin conditions and among others, cardio-vascular disorders.

In Russia, doctors have used fasting experimentally for 28 years and report excellent results. The latest report from Russia shows that controlled fasting was found to be the most effective treatment for schizophrenia - 64% of the patients had improved mentally after 20-30 days of controlled fasting.

Some recent animal studies in the United States have shown that periodic fasting can increase the life span considerably.

How Safe Is Fasting?

This actually happened in England: A broken-hearted 50-year-old man, whose wife left him for a younger lover, decided to end it all by starving himself to death. He ran away into high mountains, abstained from all eating, contemplating his broken marriage and occasionally sipped fresh water from the mountain springs. He expected to expire in a few days. But to his surprise, the desired death would just not come. In fact, he noticed, with dismay, that as the days went by, he felt better and stronger.

The end of the story is that in due time - after 74 days in the wilderness without food - the man finally changed his mind (fasting does improve mental capacity and contributes to a logical and clear thinking!), feeling that she wasn't worth killing himself for, after all; that certainly there must be other women in this world. He returned to civilization and lived happily for another 30 years - with a new wife!

I know personally of a young man of 27 in Sweden. who fasted 143 days. No, it wasn't an anti-Vietnam demonstration, but to "cleanse, regenerate and rejuvenate his body and mind," (as many great philosophers, including Plato and Socrates, did in the past). And he lived to tell about his experience in a book called Man Who Ate His Muscles.

One 54 year-old Scottish woman fasted 249 days on juices and not only did she not harm herself, but she lost 74 pounds and got rid of her painful arthritis, as a pleasant side effect. The fasting was supervised at Stobhill General Hospital, in Glasgow, Scotland. 8

Supervised Many Fasts

I have supervised hundreds of fasts in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and have seen most remarkable results of recovery from a great variety of ills. Many of my patients fasted up to 40 days and, almost without exception, all have told me that they felt stronger and had more vitality after the fast than before it - in addition to the fact that most of their symptoms of ill health had completely vanished during the fast.

Miss B.B. fasted for a heart condition and many vague but persistent symptoms of aging. She was well over 70. She amazed the whole Spa by increasing her daily walking distance, until at the end of her 40-day fast (she called it "40 days and 40 nights") she walked 5 miles a day. Although she did experience a few so-called fasting crises during her long fast (caused by accelerated elimination of accumulated wastes from her body), she felt healthier and stronger on the 40th day than she did on the 1st day of fasting. And you should have heard the ovation she received from the Spa guests when she finally broke her fast!

I could fill a book with actual cases of successful fasts which I supervised. Those who are interested in studying fasting in more detail, reading of many actual cases and perhaps trying fasting for themselves should read my book, How To Keep Slim, Healthy And Young With juice Fasting (available at health food stores). 9

So, to answer the question "Is fasting safe," I can truthfully say - after studying fasting for 30 years with some of the greatest fasting specialists in the world (Drs. Are Waerland, Ragnar Berg, Otto Buchinger, Jr., etc.) and evaluating their results as well as my own experience with hundreds of patients - that fasting is not only the most effective healing method known to man, but also the safest.

The Best Way To Fast

The best, safest and most effective method of fasting is juice fasting. Although the old, classic form of fasting was a pure water fast, all the leading fasting authorities today agree that juice fasting is far superior to a water fast. Perhaps, if the effective way of making raw vegetable and fruit juices was known before, the healers of the past would have used them, too. I have supervised both types of fasting, and I agree with Dr. Otto Buchinger, Jr., who has supervised more fasts than any other doctor, that fasting on fresh raw juices of fruits and vegetables, plus vegetable broths and herb teas, results in much faster recovery from disease and more effective cleansing and rejuvenation of the tissues than does the traditional water fast. It is too bad that some old American practitioners are still using the antiquated water fast method. The water fast exerts severe physical and emotional stress on the patient and therefore results are often unsuccessful.

Here's what Dr. Ragnar Berg, world famous authority on nutrition and biochemistry, says about the superiority of juice fasting over water fasting:

"During fasting the body burns up and excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes. We can help this cleansing process by drinking alkaline juices instead of water while fasting. I have supervised many fasts and made extensive examinations and tests of fasting patients, and I am convinced that drinking alkali-forming fruit and vegetable juices, instead of water, during fasting will increase the healing effect of fasting. Elimination of uric acid and other inorganic acids will be accelerated. And sugars in juices will strengthen the heart. . . juice fasting is, therefore, the best form of fasting." 2

Normalize Body Processes

Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements and natural colorings of fresh, raw vegetable and fruit juices are extremely beneficial in normalizing all the body processes, supplying needed elements for the body's own healing activity and cell regeneration, and, thus, speeding the recovery. These juices require no digestion and are easily assimilated directly into the bloodstream thus, they do not disrupt the healing and rejuvenating process of autolysis, or self-digestion, as suggested by some water fast proponents.

Also, according to Dr. Ralph Bircher, raw juices contain an as yet unidentified factor which stimulates what he calls a micro-electric tension in the body and is responsible for the cells' ability to absorb nutrients from the blood stream and effectively excrete metabolic wastes.

Juices possess specific medicinal properties and should be used both during the juice fasting, and/or when the patient is on a specific therapeutic diet, even if he does not fast.

What Juices To Use For Specific Conditions

First, it must be emphasized that every case is different, and, therefore, all therapeutic treatments, including fasting, must be individually designed for every specific case. Especially with regard to fasting, the patient's physical and mental condition should be taken into consideration. It can vary from month to month and year to year in the same person. Also, most people suffer from more than one ailment. The suggestions given below are, therefore, to be considered only as very general guidelines. If you suffer from a serious ailment, it is best to consult a biologically oriented doctor and abide by his advice regarding the wisdom of undertaking a raw-juice therapy for your specific condition. The following information should not be construed as prescribing; only as an educational information and a guide for the healing profession. If you are convinced that fasting is an effective and, safe healing method, and if you would like to try juice fasting for your specific condition, show this article to your doctor and ask him to advise and supervise your juice fasting therapy.

Since all fruits and vegetables are plants (herbs), they possess specific medicinal properties. Thus, fresh juices made from vegetables and fruits are also medicinal (healing) in their action and, therefore, should be used as such during therapeutic fasting. 10

Here are the ailments and the specific juices:

ACNE - All available fresh fruits or vegetable juices except citrus.
ANEMIA - Green juice (made in juicer from any available greens, such as alfalfa, watercress, wheat grass, parsley, etc.) Green juice. can be mixed with carrot or red beet juice. Also: red grape, blueberry, black currant, prune, apricot.
ARTERIOSCLEROSIS - Grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, green juice, and any fresh, raw vegetable juices in season.
ARTHRITIS - Raw potato juice, carrot celery, red beet, parsley, alfalfa, sour cherries, pineapple, black currant, sour apple.
ASTHMA - Lime, comfrey, horseradish, garlic. Garlic and horseradish juice can be mixed with any vegetable juices.
BALDNESS - Nettles, spinach, carrot, red beet, alfalfa. Onion juice can be added to carrot juice.
BLADDER INFECTION - Watermelon juice, cucumber, cranberry. Small amount of yellow onion juice added to carrot or beet juice.
COLDS - Lemon, black currant, orange, pineapple, elder berry (particularly for bronchial catarrh), carrot, red beet, tomato, green pepper, watercress, plus small amounts of garlic and onion added to vegetable juices.
COLITIS - Papaya juice, raw cabbage juice, aloe vera gel.
CONSTIPATION - Spinach, watercress, nettles, garlic and yellow onions (small amounts added to vegetable juice), dandelion, carrot, celery, cabbage, red beets, tomatoes, apples, and lemon.
DIABETES - String bean juice, parsley, Jerusalem artichoke, cucumber, celery, watercress, lettuce, citrus juices.
DIGESTIVE DISORDERS (Indigestion, gas) - Papaya, pineapple, lemon, garlic.
DIVERTICULOSIS - Fermented lactic acid juices (such as Biotta, available at health food stores). Carrot, beet, celery, papaya, apple, pineapple, lemon.
ECZEMA - Green vegetable juice, carrot, beet, celery, red grapes, cucumber.
EDEMA - Watermelon, green juice, pineapple.
EPILEPSY - Figs, red grapes, red beets, carrots, green juice.
GALL BLADDER PROBLEM - Pear juice, grapefruit, lemon, grape. Small amount of dandelion, and radish or black radish can be added to carrot or beet top juice.
GLAUCOMA - Lemon, grapefruit, orange, carrot, red beet, and beet top juice.
HALITOSIS - Green juice especially beneficial. Any available greens can be used, including alfalfa, comfrey, and parsley.
HEART DISEASE - Rose hips, black currants, blueberries, carrot, beet, celery, asparagus, garlic, onion.
HEMORRHOIDS - Papaya, pineapple, lemon, cranberry.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE -Small amount of garlic juice added to carrot, beet, celery, or parsley juice. Also: citrus juices, grape black currant, cranberry.
HYPOGLYCEMIA - Any fresh vegetable juices except carrots and beets. Green juice, lemon, grapefruit. All juices must be diluted 50/50 with water. Only half glass of juice at a time.
KIDNEY DISEASE - Watermelon, cucumber, celery, cranberry.
LEG ULCERS - Pineapple, citrus, comfrey, green juice.
LIVER TROUBLE - Red beet, papaya, lemon, grape, radish, black radish, dandelion.
MENSTRUAL DISORDERS - Green juice, lemon, grapefruit, cherry, pineapple, papaya.
PSORIASIS - Carrot, red beet, cucumber, grape. Avoid citrus juices.
STOMACH ULCERS - Red cabbage juice for duodenal ulcers; raw potato juice for gastric (stomach) ulcers.
VARICOSE VEINS - Pineapple, grapes, citrus, carrot, comfrey, with garlic and onion juice added to vegetable juices.

Next Month: Part Two of this article: complete hour by-hour instructions on How To Fast)

Note: All references for both parts of this article will be printed in the next month's issue.